Mouthwatering recipes to ‘beef up’ the holiday menu

(Family Features)—At this year’s holiday gatherings, you can put together a showstopping menu from the beginning of the party to the final bite with mouthwatering recipes that bring guests back for more. It all starts with beef, a versatile, beloved ingredient that can be used in appetizers, sides, and main courses alike.

Consider these holiday favorites from Beef Loving Texans, including a must-have main course like classic Beef Wellington. Perfect for a family get-together, this traditional dish combines tender chateaubriand roast with a homemade glaze of earthy mushrooms, red wine, and Dijon mustard wrapped in a golden-brown puff pastry.

If you’re serving a group, Top Sirloin Roast with Herb Garlic Peppercorn Crust is ideal for sharing and provides an eye-catching centerpiece at the dining room table.

Before bringing out the main course, however, there’s an important aspect of seasonal parties that calls everyone to the kitchen: savory appetizers. You can invite your guests to share an option like Holiday Mini Beef Meatball Skewers with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce, a festive, easy-to-make favorite that can tide the cravings of a hungry crowd.

Find more beef-inspired holiday dishes at

Classic Beef Wellington

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 chateaubriand tenderloin roast
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • flour
  • 1 sheet puff pastry

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 teaspoon oil until hot. Combine salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Press evenly onto all surfaces of the roast. Place roast in skillet; brown evenly. Remove roast from skillet.

Heat oven to 425 F.

In a food processor, pulse mushrooms and shallot about 10 times until finely chopped. Do not over process.

Place the same skillet used for the roast over medium-high heat and heat the remaining oil until hot. Add mushrooms and shallot; cook 4-6 minutes until tender and all liquid is evaporated, stirring often. Add wine; cook 2-3 minutes until all liquid is evaporated. Stir in mustard, thyme, and remaining pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes. Remove from skillet to medium bowl; cool.

Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place in oven. On a lightly floured cutting board, unfold the pastry dough. Roll the pastry out to a 12-by-9-inch rectangle; lay the dough with the shortest edge toward you. Spread mushroom mixture onto pastry dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Place roast in the center of mushrooms. Fold pastry dough neatly around the roast, stretching the dough if necessary. Cut off excess pastry dough; press to seal overlapping edges.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and dust lightly with flour. Place pastry-wrapped roast, seam-side down, on the baking sheet. Cut four (2-inch) vents on top of the pastry.

Bake 35-50 minutes, or until golden brown and the instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 135 F for medium-rare or 150 F for medium. Transfer the roast to a carving board. Let stand for 10 minutes. The temperature will rise about 10 F to reach 145 F for medium-rare or 160F for medium.

Carve into slices and serve.

Top Sirloin Roast with Herb Garlic Peppercorn Crust

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1 center-cut sirloin beef roast (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground mixed peppercorns (black, white, green and pink)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Rub roast with olive oil.

To make seasoning: In a small bowl, combine salt, parsley, thyme, garlic, and mixed peppercorns; press evenly into the beef roast.

Place roast in a roasting pan or baking dish with a wire rack in the bottom. Bake for 40-60 minutes. Remove roast when the instant-read thermometer registers 135 F for medium-rare or 150 F for medium.

Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 10-15 minutes. The temperature will rise about 10 F to reach 145 F for medium-rare or 160 F for medium.

Carve roast into slices by cutting against the grain.

Holiday Mini Beef Meatball Skewers with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced 1/2 inch
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced 1/2 inch
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced 1/2 inch
  • 12 skewers (6 inches)
  • Cranberry Barbecue Sauce:
  • 1 can (16 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a medium bowl, lightly mix ground beef, zucchini, egg, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Shape into 24 1-inch meatballs. Alternately thread meatballs, onions, red peppers, and green peppers onto skewers. Place skewers on a shallow-rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatballs registers 160 F.

To make cranberry barbecue sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce; simmer for 5 minutes, or until flavors blend.

Drizzle sauce over skewers or serve as a dipping sauce.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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